The Raconteurs

To spectators of the Rust Belt garage-rock revival, the Raconteurs must seem like a dream come true. For Detroit darling Jack White, the band is the perfect chance for him to ditch his lubberly sidekick, Meg; for his Motor City counterpart, Brendan Benson, it's a way to grab some sack; and for the long-neglected Greenhorns, it's a shot at finally getting recognition. But if the first single--a buoyant ditty called "Steady as She Goes"--seems too good to be true, it is. When the Racs' Kinks-tinged prog-pop debut ends after a scant 30 minutes, the cloud of undelivered potential reveals another supergroup with parts outweighing the sum. The closest we get to the hooky catchiness of "Steady" is the agro riffage of "Store Bought Bones." Otherwise, most of the jingles on Broken Boy Soldiers sound like repurposed scraps from the catalogs of the odd-couple songwriters. When the record offers quick glances of the Raconteurs' singular personalities, it only reminds us how much better they are on their own. Collectively, like most dreams, it's easily forgotten.
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Nate Cavalieri